OVERLAND EXPO, MAY 17-20, near Flagstaff

OVERLAND EXPO, MAY 17-20, near Flagstaff

Postby LAZ 1 [OP] » April 3rd 2019, 1:39am

I will be in Arizona for the first two weeks in May. Planning on attending the OVERLAND EXPO near Flagstaff, Mid May. I am free to wander around aimlessly, driving over Az in THE SILVER STREAK, and would like to meet up and chat with any Az Astro/Safari people.

ALSO,
Can anyone recommend a good wrecking yard for 2003 - 05 Astro/Safari parts?

I am looking for:
- good condition grey leather front seats,
Deluxe with adjustable lumbar
- front doors with PW, PDL, PM
- driver side front seat belt bottom section
( if you have a big dog the dam things are always breaking)
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Re: OVERLAND EXPO, MAY 17-20, near Flagstaff

Postby LAZ 1 [OP] » May 7th 2019, 4:30pm

Yesterday I stopped by Journeys Off Road in Prescott, Az, for a short visit. And guess who was there ...
our very own Wimpy. Chris was creating and installing a camper interior on Mike's absolutely awesome SOLID AXLE 4X4 Cargo van conversion. That rig looks exactly like it came from the factory, everything neat, tidy, and balanced.

Journeys will have a big booth at the Overland Expo.
B there or B [_].
LAZ 1
(;-[)
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Re: OVERLAND EXPO, MAY 17-20, near Flagstaff

Postby LAZ 1 [OP] » May 15th 2019, 2:35pm

Well, I made it to Flagstaff, awaiting my turn as a volunteer at the Overland Rally. This trip, I really enjoyed my time in Arizona, and am considering spending more time here next Winter. A few years back, I spent a Winter in Phoenix and was not impressed... too big, too hot, too flat. But recently I have enjoyed Tucson, especially Catalina park, and driving up to the top of Mt Lemon. 9000 ft up is much cooler and the views are spectacular.

Arizona has diverse ecosystems, ranging from red rock, desert, cactus, to the more mellow high country. I wandered around a bit, spent a pleasant few days at Lake Pleasant. Then drove the back way to Prescott, and through Sedona to get to Flagstaff. There are some serious switchbacks and ups and downs on that drive ... some of the corners are posted for 15 mph, and they mean it. The heavy duty suspension and OVERLAND VANS anti sway frame stiffener got a workout, and I was impressed with how stable this set up is on tight fast corners ... especially considering my rig weighs over 6000 lbs, and is 8' 6" tall.

Looking forward to meeting all the Gupsies, tramps, vagabonds, wannabees, etc. that make up the attendees at these overland events. And looking forward to checking out some of the cool rides and crazy gear.
(;-[)
LAZ 1
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Re: OVERLAND EXPO, MAY 17-20, near Flagstaff

Postby LAZ 1 [OP] » May 16th 2019, 2:42am

This is what my AWD ASTRO van wants to be when it grows up.
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Re: OVERLAND EXPO, MAY 17-20, near Flagstaff

Postby AstroWill » May 22nd 2019, 2:30am

How was it?

I figured that for me it wasn't worth the $300+ entry/camping for the weekend. Though I'm interested to know how it went for those that attended.

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Re: OVERLAND EXPO, MAY 17-20, near Flagstaff

Postby LAZ 1 [OP] » May 22nd 2019, 4:57am

I volunteered to work 12 hrs, so I got on for zero cash.

In general, the Overland Expo was absolutely FANTABULOUS!! The people were GREAT ...
we are all on the same page, all enjoy getting out and away from the cities, although some have more money than others, and some go farther into the rough.

A lot of the stuff exhibited was (IMHO) YUPPY BLING ... like a $30 CNC machines thingmawhatsit to insert into the 2" receiver so you can attach a strap?
Huh?
Isn't that what the cross pin is for?
Huh?

Then there were several six figure "overland" ?fantasy? vehicles with immaculate and expensive custom paint jobs, ( unscratched of course) with everything ( EVERYTHING!). These mega rigs are way too big to go down any abandoned BC logging road, or any Mexican small town narrow street. So not much use to me. I especially got a kick from the nice looking camperised Dodge Sprinter 2WD, which could not park in the rough parking lot available ...
the 4" high stump would have hung him up.

Overlanding only on pavement?

But there are some great REAL WORLD rigs on display, and in the parking lots, and I got some great ideas for my next build.


I saw a 2000 Astro AWD, with a DIY/rough camperized interior, for sale for $13,000. No lift, no big tires ....
but compared to $65,000, or $165,000, it was looking like a bargain, and could probably access most of the places a real Overlander needed to go.

I talked with a van camper conversion guy at the show. He expects a basic interior package for a high roof Mercedes/Dodge van to go for about $15,000. That would be " basic".

The neatest interiors were with alloy tracks, that could take quick release modular components. One day a cargo/work van, and with a few hours fitting the modules in, VOILA ...
a camper van or mobile office.
SLICK!
There were a few of the 4x4 VW camper Van's (the Westphalia pop top types), at the show. With orginal motor and trans, these start at about $40,000... and probably need some work on the motor and trans soon. With a replacement, more powerful, more reliable Subaru motor ( and the beefed up transmission you need to handle the increased power), and a custom paint job ( no scratches allowed) you can run to Starbucks for only $100,000.

Some of these ultra expensive vehicles sure made the AWD Astro/Safari Van's look like the best bargain bang for the buck available anywhere.

Journeys Offroad was there with a SOLID front axle 4x4 conversion for the ASTROSAFARI Van's, which they will be selling as a DIY kit. The solid front axle allows better articulation in the rough stuff, and bigger tires. And it looks as if it rolled right off the factory floor. The way AstroSafaris should have been?

All in all, a worth while experience, and I am volunteering again for the Canadian BC Overland Rally next month.
(;-{)
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